Caroline Lau of St. Luke's School & Kateri Poole of Monsignor Scanlan High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
By Bob Corwin
As they say on Broadway, the show must go on. For the two events Pass Tha Ball covered over MLK weekend (January 18-21), that was certainly true. Both the Rose Classic Super Jam (held at Nazareth and Canarsie High Schools in Brooklyn) and the SayYesToSuccess Prep Nationals (held at Monsignor Scanlan High School in the Bronx) completed play on Monday, January 21, but not before struggling with numerous weather-related team withdrawals forcing last minute shuffling of pairings. Sadly, several anticipated high level match-ups had to be replaced by less desirable ones. Each day was a challenge for operators of both events. Still the was plenty to digest at both “Rose” and “SayYes.”
This year marked the 17th edition for the Rose Classic sponsored by NIKE and presented by Dean Kids, Inc. SayYesToSuccess was in its 4th year presented by Basketball Wall Street. As might be expected, both events had their college coaches’ attendance decreased by the weather threats which materialized much more away from New York City than in the city itself.
A list of superlative performers witnessed from the two events:
Best team: Nationally ranked New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Maryland) played only one game (at Rose Classic) but dominated nationally ranked Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colorado) 57-32.
Senior: Fran Belibi (see below) of Regis Jesuit High School
Junior: Kateri Poole (see below) of Monsignor Scanlan High School
Sophomore: Shayeann Day-Wilson (see below) of Crestwood Preparatory College
Freshman: Paris Clark (see below) of Long Island Lutheran High School
Looking at some of the individual talent viewed in alphabetical order with height, position and school within graduation year. Many others could have been discussed. All are Division 1 prospects at some level. Location of school is in parenthesis.
Players seen at Rose Class are designated by “RC”. Those seen at SayYesToSuccess are designated by “SY”. Those seen at both (some teams played at both events) are designated by “B”.
B – Fran Belibi, 6-1, center, Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora, Colorado)
Signed with Stanford, Belibi had three 20+ games as her team went 2-2 in New York City. Versus New Hope, the scheme of putting multiple bodies on Belibi held her to just 10. This Stanford commit is a great leaper and strong finisher around the rim. For the next level, building shooting range should be a high priority.
SY – Hevynne Bristow, 6-0, small forward, Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (Brooklyn, New York)
Signed with Providence, Bristow posted 22 points in a 59-43 loss to St John’s Prep of Astoria, New York. Playing with good energy, she is a strong driver along the baseline able to finish with contact. If this viewing is indicative, building shooting range should be a priority for success at the next level.
RC - Xianna Josephs, 6-1, power forward/center, Putnam Science Academy (Putnam, Connecticut)
Signed with Rhode Island, what was most impressive about Josephs was that she played hard. She looked to score by attacking the basket finishing near the rim. She posted 11 points in a 45-43 loss to Crestwood.
RC – Kylie Kornegay-Lucas, 5-10, small forward, New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Maryland)
Signed with Virginia, Kornegay-Lucas set the tone for her team’s win over Regis Jesuit. She played hard and was not afraid of contact as she repeatedly drove to score or dish. In a balanced attack, she posted 12 points toward the victory.
Fran Belibi of Regis Jesuit High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Kylie Kornegay-Lucas of New Hope Academy (PC: Bob Corwin)
SY – Maddie Plank, 5-10, point guard, Briarcliff High School (Briarcliff Manor, New York)
Signed with Princeton, this lefty is your make-others-around her-better lead guard. She can score from the perimeter but drives (mostly left) to the basket.
SY – Navaeh Brown, 5-8, point guard, Davidson Day School (Davidson, North Carolina)
Orally committed to Wake Forest, Brown looks to attack going right using her quickness to penetrate. She also demonstrated a mid-range stroke in posting 22 points in a 67-45 loss to Regis Jesuit.
RC – Jayme Foreman, 5-9, shooting guard, Niagara Prep (Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada)
Foreman repeatedly caught and quickly delivered the ball through the twine from behind the arc. She posted 29 points (six threes) in one outing at the Rose Classic.
RC - Kayla Green, 5-6, point guard, Whitney Young High School (Chicago, Illinois)
Capable of playing either guard slot, Green can hit the mid-range shot but driving appears to be the number 1 scoring option. She posted 19 in one Rose Classic outing.
B – Kateri Poole, 5-9, shooting guard, Monsignor Scanlan High School (Bronx, New York)
Poole is considered to be one of the top shooting guard prospects in the 2020 class. Power attack is her biggest strength although she can hit from the perimeter. Her 35-point performance (got her 1000th point in her high school career during the contest) in a 66-64 win over Our Lady of Lourdes. This was the top performance witnessed at either event during the weekend. She capped the day with her game winning baseline reverse layup with four seconds left on the clock.
Jayme Foreman of Niagara Prep (PC: Bob Corwin)
SY – Danaijah Williams, 5-10, forward, South Shore High School (Brooklyn, New York)
Like all South Shore players, Williams plays hard. She looks to score by attacking the basket but also has a mid-range stroke.
RC – Shayeann Day-Wilson, 5-7, point guard, Crestwood Preparatory College (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Day-Wilson has Power 5 level talent as a lead guard. She handles well and can drive to the rim. She posted 18 points in the win over Putnam Science Academy but what was most impressive was that she made a strong effort to share the ball, something not seen enough of in a few prior viewings.
SY – Mallorie Haines, 5-10, shooting guard, Davidson Day School (Davidson, North Carolina)
Orally committed to Davidson University, Haines has a quick release off the catch both within and behind the arc. She posted 19 points in the loss to Regis Jesuit.
RC – Khya Hough, 5-5, guard, The Mary Louis Academy (Jamaica Estates, New York)
Hough’s game has a lot of versatility. She can handle and distribute like a point guard but also score via the drive and mid-range perimeter shot. He posted 20 points in her team’s 69-67 loss to Capital Prep (Hartford, Connecticut).
Mallorie Haines of Davidson Day School (PC: Bob Corwin)
SY – Ava Learn, 6-1, small forward, Our Lady of Lourdes High school (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Learn can hit the perimeter shot but is not afraid to go into the paint to score near the rim. She has decent “ups” but needs to embrace more physical play when hitting the glass.
RC - Timia Ware, 5-6, shooting guard, Whitney Young (Chicago, Illinois)
Ware is a good athlete with versatile scoring ability. She can hit the three but also drives well to the basket. Coming off the bench, she posted 12 points in a 53-49 loss to Long Island Lutheran.
RC - Paris Clark, 5-8, guard/small forward, Long Island Lutheran High School (Glen Head, New York)
Clark continues to impress having been written about previously on this website. In the win over Whitney Young, she posted 25 points hitting threes, mid-range shots and drives. Power 5 programs are already lining up.
SY – Caroline Lau, 5-8, point guard, St. Luke’s School (New Canaan, Connecticut)
Lau still needs to fill out some and get stronger but there is a Power 5 upside present in her game. Light on her feet, she handles the ball well and has good court vision making others around her better.
RC - Reyna Scott, 5-8, shooting guard, Nazareth Regional High School (Brooklyn, New York)
Scott is a good athlete who can both attack the basket and shoot the three. She posted 11 points in her team’s 88-66 loss to Whitney Young. Power 5 programs should be monitoring her maturation.
RC – Breauna Ware, 5-7, guard, The Mary Louis Academy (Jamaica Estates, New York)
A good athlete, Ware attacks the basket with authority. Although not her primary scoring option, she has a mid-range stroke. In the loss to Capital Prep, she posted 26 points.